Best Potatoes for Storing

Keeping Potato Varieties

••• Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Planning to store potatoes over the winter? If you want them to stay fresh until spring, be sure to select keeping varieties. Here are some good varieties to consider growing or buying:

Yukon Gold
Red Pontiac
Yellow Finn

If you come across a potato variety that you aren't familiar with, you can use these points to gauge how well it's likely to keep:

Harvest Time: - late potato varieties (those that take more than 90 days to mature) usually store best

Thickness of Skin - thick-skinned potatoes store better than thin-skinned potatoes

The Importance of Curing Potatoes

Potatoes need to be cured before they're placed in storage. This causes the skins to toughen up, and greatly extends their storage life. If you're buying full-season potatoes from a farmer or store, this step should already be taken care of for you (though it doesn't hurt to ask). New potatoes (i.e. any potatoes harvested before maturity), are not suitable for long-term storage. Skip the cure time, and enjoy them right away.

Storing Potatoes Properly

Potatoes with blemishes will deteriorate quickly in storage, even if they're keeping varieties, so inspect your potatoes carefully before deciding which ones to store.

A cool, moist, dark storage environment is vital to successful long-term storage.  For information on how to set up your potato storage area, refer to:

Using Your Potatoes

Some storage potatoes keep longer than others. Time and experience will teach you which varieties to use first, but in general, aim to use your red-skinned potatoes first, as these tend to be the first to sprout.

Inspect your potatoes regularly, and discard any with mold. Also, remove any that have sprouted, so they don't cause other potatoes around them to sprout. If you have a lot of potatoes that have sprouted or turned green, it's an indication that your storage conditions are less than ideal. Tweak your storage methods to address the problem.